Black Voice News Online ran a two-part article a few weeks ago by Richard Jones called “The Bad News and Good News of Obsessive Video Games”. It touches on a few themes that came up in the earlier discussion about the disparity between Black game players and Black game developers, as well as an interesting bit on the influence of negative media images upon people of color. You can read the rest here (part 1) and here (part 2).
This bit, in particular, caught my interest:
The video game industry is all about money. No one really cares about your skin color or gender if you are a well-trained video game designer or illustrator. The problem is that our youth and adult players see themselves as players and not designers or illustrators. Therefore unless they’re motivated to get on the business end versus the player end of the video game phenomenon they will continue to be portrayed in a negative light and also miss out on a ten billion dollar a year industry.
While I certainly agree with Jones’s sentiment that more people of color should get involved in developing computer games, I have a hard time with saying that “the video game industry is just about money” any more or less than any other industry is, ultimately, “just about money”. As with any other media-production industry, the question isn’t just about how much money is being made, but also about who is making the money. And in this particular case, I would submit that there’s plenty of money that certain people can make by selling negative media images to young Black men.